Close

How To Become A Digital Nomad

11th September 2018, New York

how-to-become-a-digital-nomad

Admit it - we have all been lost in digital nomad’s instagram feeds wondering ‘what I am doing in this grey and rainy place when I could be at a beach in Bali?!’

Born a citizen of the world, Cepee is half Colombian and half Iranian, and proudly considers herself a native Texan. She loves jumping feet first into the unknown and encouraging others to make their own leap in life. She's the creator and manager of She Hit Refresh, a +3000 member community for women 30 years an older who want to break free from routine and start a life of travel, and the Madrid Blogger Network, Madrid's largest online/offline community for bloggers and content creators.

What made you start She Hit Refresh?

She Hit Refresh is a community for women 30 years and older who want to break free from routine and start a life of travel. The concept of the She Hit Refresh community was an evolution of ideas over time. It started off as a conversation between friend, and co-founder Annette, and me. While in Italy, where I mentioned that it would be great to share information for "seasoned" women who want hit refresh on their lives. Women who want to move abroad, travel for an extended period of time, quit their jobs and life of convention, and make a big change. I've been hitting the refresh button for almost two decades, most recently at 35 with a move from Austin, Texas to Madrid, Spain. And Annette had just taken her first sabbatical, quitting her job of almost a decade to go travel, all in her early 40s. A lot of our female friends were asking us how we did it and there wasn't much information out there for women our age.

Initially I thought about starting a blog, we also talked about starting a podcast where we could provide a conversation around big life changes through travel for the 30 and up crowd; however it was in an online course, focused on storytelling that my mentor, Kay Fabella, asked "Have you thought about starting a Facebook Group?" Bingo! It was a light bulb moment, and the concept of a community truly fit what we wanted to do: provide a space where like-minded women could find their tribe and have conversations online that no one else was having. All of the existing female travel groups limited their conversations to short-term travel: what hostel to stay in, where to eat, what to see, what clothes to pack. We wanted to create something more; something where we could help women understand how to do become a digital nomad or traveling freelancer. So we did! That was November 2017, and now 10 months later, we've grown to a community of over 3,000+ women worldwide.

digital-nomad-girl

What're the first steps to take to become a digital nomad?

Each person's journey is unique, so I would say there are a variety of paths one can take. A good place to start is to identify your skill, what value you can provide so you can find a remote jobs, freelance jobs, or start a lucrative business, that will allow you to be location independent. Sorting out your work and income situation is the first step for most people. If you don't have a skill, start to build one in your free time as a freelancer.

In my case, I wasn't necessarily looking to become a digital nomad. I just wanted to move from Texas to Spain, and got my foot in the door through a government program to teach English. From there I was able to find a job in social media marketing and honed my skills in the field at work and through my personal creative projects. I quickly realized the remote work possibilities this field could offer and started the job search, even though I was still very green. After a few months I scored my first remote gig.

digital-nomad-quote

The next step is to figure out where you want to go, what visa you'll need, and create a budget. Do you want to hunker down in one location for a few months, stay indefinitely, or spend your time on the go? You'll need to check the visa requirements for each country you're visiting to see how long you are able to stay and if there are options to stay long term, if that's what you're looking to do. Last, create a budget, try to pay off your debt before you take off, and make sure you can afford your digital nomad life. Ideally you'll have enough money coming in to sustain your life of travel. The last thing you want to do is stress about money while working on the road in a foreign country.

What are your best tips women who want to start working remotely?

First I would say, you got this! The road to remote work or freelancing isn't always easy and takes hustle and patience, but it's worth it.

Game Plan & Exit Strategy. Make a game plan and an exit strategy from your current situation so that you can have a smooth-ish transition to working remotely. But, don't wait for perfection to pull the plug; if you wait for things to be perfect you'll never start. So push yourself out of your comfort zone and aim high!

Find freelance work. Start applying for remote jobs or freelance work even if you only have 60%-80% of the required skills. Many studies show that women do not apply for jobs unless if they feel they have 90%+ of the require qualifications while men apply when they only meet 60% of the required skills. Don't sell yourself short, I've been able to score jobs that I didn't think I was qualified for just by applying and letting the hiring manager decide if I was fit for the position. Get started with our piece on the best sites to find remote work.

find-freelance-jobs

Start your side hustle. If you want to become a writer, blogger, social media manager, SEO expert, etc. start doing the work now, even if no one is paying you. You need to be able to sell yourself with examples of your work and achievements. Use your side hustle or freelance work to build your portfolio. Do good work and it will start to speak for itself, people will notice. In just two years I've been able to build my skills in social media marketing and create a reputation through my work. My freelancing side hustle has opened doors that I could have never imagined.

Build a network. I learned this lesson later in life, but a strong network can help bring the right opportunities to you. Find your tribe of, like-minded freelancing and entrepreneurial women who inspire you and push you to do better and be better. A strong network in invaluable in helping you start a like of remote work.

Sharehive is a network for women doing their own thing. We are copywriters, digital marketing experts, graphic designers, digital nomads, aspiring freelancers and founders who believe in the creative power of working together. Find freelance jobs, barter & learn new skills, build your professional network and make new friends.

Friday Feature - The Freelance Hustle

4th September 2018, New York

The Freelance Hustle

Why is social proof so important and how do you get it? This week’s Friday Feature is with Kayli, a digital marketing and UX nerd. She runs The Freelance Hustle, a site and community for creative freelancers to start, build and grow an amazing online business. Kayli shared her best tips for aspiring freelancers, and why social proof is key to your success.

What made you start The Freelance Hustle?

I quit my job 5 years ago to freelance full-time. I started getting messages from friends asking how I was living this life of travel and working from wherever I wanted. Most of the time when I would tell someone what I was up to, they would respond with something like “that sounds amazing but I would never be able to make that work.”

They were intrigued by the idea of working for themselves, but they were overwhelmed by the thought of it. I wanted to show them that it doesn’t really have to be that scary. So I started The Freelance Hustle to share what I was learning along the way and make the leap into freelancing a little less scary for people.

What creative strategies do you use to attract new clients?

I don’t get too creative with client-getting strategies, to be honest. I keep it pretty simple. I maintain connections with old clients, I ask for testimonials, I ask for referrals. Word of mouth and repeat clients are the best way to get a more stable income and a regular flow of work coming your way.

That said, I have gotten quite a few clients from social media and blogging. I’ve made friends in Facebook groups that have turned into clients or referrals. I’ve had people find me on twitter and reach out to work together. And writing about online marketing, both on my own blog and guest posting, has attracted new clients.

How do you manage freelance & travel at the same time?

I actually love working while traveling! I have always found I can be way more productive when I’m away from home (I’m even answering this interview on a flight!).

A few years ago I went full nomad for a short stint. I put my stuff in storage, sublet my apartment, and bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam. I spent 5 months in Asia that year and again the next (I’m from Canada, I like to skip the winters!).

I had set up all of my freelance jobs remotely - I worked with clients from all the over the US and Canada - so it wasn’t that big of a change. The only difficult thing to manage is timezones. I was less available for meetings as some of my clients would call a meeting at 3am my time. But on the plus side, I was 12 hours ahead so my clients would always wake up to finished work!

If you want to travel while working with clients, I’ve learned it’s best to be really honest about it and set up arrangements that will work ahead of time. Agree on meeting times and deadlines, let them know when you’ll be unreachable, and always deliver ahead of schedule before you go off the grid for a few days.

I try to keep a routine while I’m traveling so I can get work done and be a tourist. I usually get up early, do some work first thing, take my laptop with me to a cafe, go sight seeing or go to the beach in the afternoon, and depending on the day I’ll either work more at night or go out. I find a few cafes in each city I’m in with good coffee and wifi so I’m never wasting time looking for an internet connection when I really need to get something done.

These days my travel is in shorter spurts. I live in Montreal full-time and travel regularly for 2-4 weeks at a time. The same rules apply - I give my clients a heads up, get as much work done ahead of time as I can, and schedule work and play into each day.

What are your best tips for freelancer just starting out?

I have so many things I could say here, but if I have to pick one thing, it’s this:

1. I think the best thing freelancers can do when they’re getting started is to hone their skill. Being a pro at what you do is the best way to get consistent client referrals, get recognized for your work, be sought out by clients, and be able to charge a premium rate.

2. Make time every day to work on your skill. Take on new projects. Build your portfolio. Take an online course if you need to. But do not let mastering your craft stop you from going after clients now! The nice thing about freelancing is that you can get paid while you learn. Start by working with smaller clients and work up to the big fish.

3. Get a testimonial from every client you work with. Social proof is gold for new freelancers.


Sharehive is a network for women doing their own thing. We are copywriters, digital marketing experts, graphic designers, digital nomads, aspiring freelancers and founders who believe in the creative power of working together. Find freelance jobs, barter & learn new skills, build your professional network and make new friends.

5 reasons why you should start freelancing

29th August 2018, New York

flexible-work-hours

Have you ever thought about doing your own gig? Full time or as a second income, more and more women are going freelance. In the US, 34% of the workforce and almost half (47% of all millennials) are full-time or part-time freelancers, according to a fairly recent study by the Freelancer Union. Going freelance might seem like a leap - giving up job security, colleagues and the stability of a monthly paycheck - yet the benefits are many.

1. Be your own boss

Wanna take a 1 month holiday? No problem. Freelancers can usually choose how much work to take on, when to deliver the work and for which clients. That gives freelancers a freedom employed workers can only dream of.

2. Flexible hours

Freelancers can choose when during the day or week to work. Forget about office hours. Sleep in, work late, get the work done when the weather is bad. It is completely up to you when you want to work.

3. Learn new skills

Freelancing is nothing like working for a company where you do the same thing year after year. Freelancers change jobs and clients on a weekly or monthly basis. That means freelancers are more likely to acquire skills that will be useful for future jobs.

4. Skip office politics

If you are hardworking, smart and have the knowledge and skills, very quickly will advance both professionally and financially. Freelancing offers great opportunities, a variety of activities and a large number of employers who need good workers.

5. Work from home

Working from home is an ideal solution for balancing work and family or private life, during which you can successfully make for a living and support yourself and your family.


Sharehive is a freelance marketplace & social club for women doing their own thing. We are copywriters, digital marketing experts, graphic designers, digital nomads, aspiring freelancers and founders who believe in the creative power of working together. Find freelance jobs, barter & learn new skills, build your professional network and make new friends.